Air Fryer Not Working? 6 Known Issues, With Solutions

Preparing to heat pastries in air fryer

Is your air fryer not working?

Air fryers really live up to their hype. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve used mine to prepare the healthier alternative to several of my favorite foods. They are truly a modern-day wonder.

While air fryers might not seem like much from the outside, they’re actually complex machines with intricate components. And while sophistication is always welcome, sometimes it can contribute to the appearance of unwanted problems!

If your air fryer is not working, make sure the basket has been placed properly. Then try unplugging it for a minute. If that doesn’t work, inspect the power cord, outlet, and fuse for damage. It could also be a bad heating element in the air fryer.

Whatever the case, you need solutions to get back to preparing delicious meals in it. The best way to go about this is to check each possible issue, and in the right order.

Below, I’ve prepared a list of the most common causes behind an air fryer that’s stopping working – and the ways you can quickly fix them. Rest assured that, by the end of it, your air fryer will be as good as new.

Are you ready? Let’s get to work!

Fixing an Air Fryer That Doesn’t Work

As stated above, there could be many explanations behind your appliance’s malfunction, and some of them are not even related to anything technical, but we must cover them nonetheless.

After all, troubleshooting is all about observing every potential contributor to the problem, not just the most obvious ones. Your air fryer might not be working due to…

  • A basket placed improperly
  • A Bad outlet
  • A Damaged power cord
  • A blown thermal fuse
  • A faulty heating element
  • A fried circuit board

For these repairs, you’ll need a screwdriver. If you have a multimeter at home, it would be a good idea to bring it out, as it will help you determine the viability of any suspicious component, saving you time, money, and effort.

#1 Your Basket Is Not Sitting Properly

cooked meat in an air fryer basket
Position the air fryer’s basket properly

This is one of those things you’d never consider as a possibility, and I don’t blame you. Whenever a seemingly technical problem arises, we tend to overlook the most obvious solutions.

If your air fryer is not working, the first thing you want to look at is your basket. There’s a chance that it’s not positioned properly, which would keep your appliance from functioning as it should. This is one of the safety countermeasures I was talking about earlier. It’s annoying, but it works.

Now, not all models have this feature, so, depending on the age of your air fryer and the price tag on it, this issue is more or less likely to be the culprit.

Solution: Double-check that you have positioned your air fryer’s basket properly before trying to operate it. A post-it note always works great for me!

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#2 You Have a Bad Outlet

Maybe there’s nothing wrong with your air fryer, maybe the problem lies with its power source.

Sometimes, a bad outlet will cause all sorts of confusion among the people with malfunctioning appliances, as it’s really easy to mistake one for the other. A faulty wall outlet can not only cause your air fryer to seem non-functional but also trip your breakers and even cause short circuits. Be careful.

Solution: Unplug your air fryer, let it cool down, and test it on a different outlet, preferably in a different section of the house. Provided that your usual one is to blame, this should take care of the issue.

If you feel confident and want to expand your DIY skills, you can try to test your outlet for continuity with a multimeter. Just be very careful when going about it.

#3 The Air Fryer’s Power Cord Is Damaged

broken power cord
A damaged power cord can cause a malfunction

In case you determined that your outlet was working normally, the next thing to look at is the power cord, which, if you think about it, is the next link in the power supply chain.

You’d think that power cords would be just as sturdy as the appliances they supply power to, but they’re not. Not in the slightest. In fact, seemingly harmless habits such as keeping them tangled or pressed against a wall in weird angles could be enough to damage them irreparably.

This creates a wide variety of problems, ranging from a non-functional air fryer to short circuits and breakers tripping continuously. If you suspect this to be the issue, try not to operate your appliance until you fix it, as doing otherwise could cause it to become even more damaged.

Solution: Try a different power cord.

I know not everyone has a spare cord lying around, but in case you do, you can use it to determine if this is the issue, just make sure you’re also using a different outlet to rule out any external factors.

If this resolved the problem, your air fryer should be working normally now. In case you don’t have a spare cord, you can do a quick Google search on your appliance’s make and model to find a replacement at any online marketplace. Usually for less than $25.

#4 You Have a Blown Thermal Fuse

If neither fixing your basket’s placement, nor testing the power sources worked, there’s probably something wrong inside the appliance, and you’ll have to go in.

The first thing you should look at is the thermal fuse. In case you’re not familiar with this nifty little component, I’ll give you a brief introduction. Thermal fuses are your air fryer’s guardian angels. They’re responsible for sensing when it’s overheating, and “blowing” to prevent this from damaging your unit.

Having a fuse blow is not necessarily a bad thing, as this means that your air fryer was in danger, but the component stepped in and prevented significant damage to your circuit board. The problem is, that you only have one, so whenever it blows, it requires replacement.

Solution: Follow these steps to disassemble your air fryer:

  1. Unplug your appliance and let it cool down
  2. Look for the screws at the top or the bottom (depending on your model)
  3. Undo them with your screwdriver
  4. Remove the plastic lid and expose the appliance’s guts
  5. Identify the thermal fuse and get comfortable access to the component
  6. Test it for continuity and replace if necessary

This last step is optional, as spotting a blown fuse is very easy without using meters, all you have to do is look for blackening and a broken filament inside the glass body.

#5 You Have a Faulty Heating Element

Thermostat Circuit
A faulty heating element can cause overheating

Moving forward through the same temperature department, it’s time to check your heating element.

This component is solely responsible for transforming the electrical energy from your wall outlet, into heat through a series of metal coils.

If your air fryer is not working or keeps beeping, and you have already determined that none of the points above are to blame for the issue, your heating element might be faulty. This is one of the hardest culprits to diagnose, as the symptoms for this fault can vary greatly, ranging from no heat generation to overheating.

It goes without saying, that you should address this issue as soon as you can.

Solution: Follow the steps from the previous point to expose your appliance’s guts and locate your heating element. In most models, it looks like a metal spiral. You can usually find a replacement at online marketplaces, or by calling your manufacturer directly.

If you find visual instructions more to your liking, there are many online videos that can guide you through disassembling your appliance step by step.

#6 Your Circuit Board Is Fried

Last, but not least, is the circuit board. This is one of the most important components inside your appliance, as it’s responsible for receiving the input from its counterparts and controlling the way it operates.

As you can imagine, your circuit board is not only extremely delicate but also highly vulnerable to damage from power spikes caused by blackouts. Normally, your thermal fuse should prevent any power surges from reaching this component, but if yours was blown previous to one of these events, I might have some bad news for you.

Now, let’s not get ahead of ourselves, if you suspect this to be the case, you have a couple of options to explore.

Solution: Check your warranty.

Some manufacturers will cover damage from blackouts or external factors as long as the appliance was operated normally in every other situation. In most cases, they will take care of the repairs for free.

On the other hand, if you’re no longer under coverage, it might be a good idea to get a new air fryer. The circuit board itself is not that expensive, but repairing it can be. It all comes down to your specific situation.

When Should You Call a Professional?

There’s no simple answer to that question, it all depends on your warranty’s coverage status, and how confident you feel doing your own repairs.

As stated above, most manufacturers will take care of any repairs your air fryer requires, for free. That is, as long as the cause of the malfunction stems from normal operating conditions and factory defects.

If you know your problem is not eligible for free repairs from your manufacturer, or just don’t want to spend days or weeks waiting to get your air fryer back, you can try calling a technician you trust.


Having an air fryer fail can be disastrous. You never know how essential to your everyday life an appliance is until you can’t use it anymore.

Air Fryers are highly sophisticated and designed to work like clockwork to guarantee your safety and lifespan. This means that they might malfunction at the slightest sign of any internal component in distress.

More often than not, there’s nothing wrong with them, they just need to have their basket properly placed, or their power cord replaced.

And even when there is something wrong, tackling the probable causes and getting your air fryer back to normal should be simple enough, all you need are a couple of simple tools and patience.

That being said, if you ever feel doubtful when going about repairing your appliance, there’s no shame in calling a technician for extra help. It’s never a good idea to tamper with your air fryer if you’re not 100% sure of what you’re doing. Remember, safety first.

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I've been helping homeowners with appliance repair since 2016. Starting out as an enthusiastic amateur, I've since worked with many Appliance, HVAC, and DIY experts over the last 7+ years. My mission is to help fix your appliances and prevent future issues - saving you stress, time, and money. Visit my author page to learn more! Read more